fbpx

Fruit Tree Pruning Basics

Don’t be daunted by how to prune fruit trees – I’ve got a couple of simple guidelines that will help make the process easier.

Firstly start by removing the 3 D’s – that’s any dead, diseased or damaged branches. Then look for any crossing or those growing downwards.

As you go consider the shape – you can prune fruit trees to many shapes – but the main goal is to open up the structure of the tree. This will increase airflow amongst the branches which can reduce disease outbreaks. And pruning will also allow more light into the centre of the tree which will help with fruit ripping.

Let’s start with pome trees – that’s your apples, pears and quince – these trees fruit on obvious fruiting spurs – so we don’t want to prune all of these off! However still need to shape the tree – so look for last seasons growth – that’s the young thinner branches and cut them back to 5 or 6 nods to get the shape you want.

Peaches and nectarines fruit on wood “last seasons growth”. So this pinkish/reddish branch which grew last spring & summer, will produce this coming summers crop. But they need to be cut back by about half so the tree can support all this fruit! Cut just after one of these nodes – ideally an outward facing one – and cut at an angle.

If you had any fungal or pest problems last season then it’s a good idea to do a clean up spray of eco-fungicide mixed with eco-oil. And to help prevent leaf furl on peaches and nectarines, spray them mid winter with a copper based spray and then again right before the leaves emerge in late winter/spring.

If I’ve not talked about a fruit tree that you have or you need more help with pruning then check out if your local nursery has any classes OR carry around a handy book like “The Complete Book of Fruit Growing in Australia” by Louis Glowinski

So know that you know how to prune fruit trees – well the basic tips anyway….go get snipping!

How get rid of black flies around indoor plants – Fungus Gnats

The pesky little black or grey flies darting around your indoor plants are fungus gnats!

While the flying adults are just plain annoying, it’s the larvae which live in the potting mix that can be doing some serious harm to your plants.

The adult flies lay their eggs into the potting mix and the teenie tiny, larvae hatch out and feed on organic matter including plant roots and soft tender stems. This can cause wilting and slow the growth rate of your plants right down.

But there are 3 simple ways to get rid your fungus gnat problems!

Number 1 – DO NOT overwater your plants. Fungus gnats love wet potting mix and outbreaks most often occur when the soil isn’t allowed to dry out between waterings. The eggs and larvae need continuous moisture to survive, so allowing the soil to dry out before you wanter can help break the lifecycle.

Number 2 – Kill the larvae in the potting mix using a soil drench of eco-neem. This is really easy to do – simply mix up the right dilution in large bucket. Then take each of your plants and allow them to soak in the mix until the air bubbles have stopped. Let them drain outside in the shade, before bringing them back inside. You’ll need to repeat this soil drench in 7 days because the flying adults can live for a week or more.

Number 3 – Do NOT allow water to pool around the roots of your plants. So tip out excess water that may gather in cover pots or saucers after watering. Leaving it will just encourage algae to grow, which the fungus gnats will just feed on!

So don’t let fungus gnats invade your indoor plant jungle and remember….there is anyways room for one more plant!

You can buy eco-neem from Bunnings & all good garden centres OR online here: https://ecoorganicgarden.com.au/produ…

What’s wrong with my roses?

What’s wrong with my roses? Whether you’ve got lots of plants or just one rose bush, this is a really common question!

So here are some simple solutions, to solve your rose riddles.

1. Not getting many blooms? Time to dead head your roses AND feed them up! Dead-heading your rose is…dead easy. Simply prune off the spent flower head but don’t just cut off the head, cut the stem as if you were cutting a long stemmed rose for the vase. You can also encourage a bigger flush of repeat blooms, by cutting the plant back a third and feeding it up with organic fertilisers (Chloe’s favourites are eco-aminogro and eco-seaweed).

2. Watch out for Black Spot, a fungal disease that gets into the leaf, causing distinctive black spots. The best way to stop it weakening your rose is to prevent it getting into the leaf in the first place. Pick off any infected leaves and pop them straight into the rubbish bin. Then give the plant a drenching spray all over with eco-fungicide. Repeat every 1 to 2 weeks to keep your roses protected.

3. Make sure you water down the base of your roses because damp leaves encourage fungal spores to multiply!

4. Spotted something sucking the life out of your plant? These little critters are aphids. And they can be black, grey or green but typically they hang out in bunches on the growing tips and cause deformed, shrivelled growth. Under planting your roses with things like garlic and chives may help to deter aphids. And of course make sure you include lots of sweet smelling, brightly coloured flowers – these will help draw in the lady beetles that just love gobbling up aphids!

5. Aphids can also be controlled with a hit of eco-oil. BUT you can actually mix your eco-oil in with eco-fungicide and that way you end up with a super organic to target your rose pest and diseases without harming bees and beneficial insects.

The full range of eco-organic garden products can be found in your local garden centre, nursery or online at: eco organic garden

Mail order beneficial bugs for your garden!

Did you know that you can get an army of good bugs into your garden simply by ordering them through the post?! Pretty cool hey! Well Melissa’s got some top tips on how you can use these beneficial predatory insects to battle the bad bugs in your garden.

Using beneficial bugs and encouraging them into your garden will reduce your need to spray and improve your plants overall health and vigour! Win win 🙂

For more info on eco organic garden products or to order some Backyard Buddies check out: http://www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au/